In the middle of this public health crisis, our local school districts have had to make the difficult decision to shift toward distance learning, and it has spawned important conversations regarding the impact on our local students. The pandemic has revealed the long-prevalent inequities throughout the system, including the technology divide along racial and socioeconomic lines.
According to a recent report from CNN, millions of school-age children “live in households without home internet service, high-speed internet, access to computer devices or help from parents who know how to use them.” Kenneth Dodge, a Duke University professor who studies early childhood development, says about 8.6 million children, K-12 age, do not have the necessary equipment at home to participate in online learning.
The same is true in our community. And, the groups feeling it the most are low-income, Black and Hispanic students. Almost one-in-three low-income students will not be able to participate adequately in remote education unless we do something, because they don't have access. That could lead to a growing achievement gap with long-lasting consequences.
We cannot sit idly by while children in our community risk being left behind. We need your support. Please give today!
Our Boys & Girls Clubs Are Preparing to Serve Kids
We are committed to offering families in our community a much-needed resources: a safe and open place for help with their virtual learning. At The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs, students will have reliable Internet access where they’ll be able to complete their virtual assignments. Plus, they’ll benefit from the other Club programs aimed at helping them get on the path to a healthier and more productive life.
We have 6 Clubs open – 4 in Mecklenburg County and 2 in Union County. Standard hours are Monday through Friday, 7:45am to 5:30pm. We are exploring partnerships to open additional Club sites. The membership fee is $5 for the school year. Students will be provided meals at the Club, both lunch and dinner as well as snacks. We have a number of safety protocols in place at the Club, including daily temperature checks, mandatory masks for staff and members, social distancing and more.
The Salvation Army and the Boys & Girls Clubs are committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure our young people have the opportunity to continue on their path to a great future. Your gifts make this possible!